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Article

Chemical Defence of a Seagrass against Microfoulers and Its Seasonal Dynamics

1
GEOMAR Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany
2
School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester CO 43 SQ, UK
3
Marine Ecology and Biodiversity, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, Plymouth PL 13 DH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(6), 1258; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9061258
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 24 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Cleaning and Antifouling Surfaces)
In marine environments bacterial microfoulers are an important determinant for the settlement of algal and animal macrofoulers. At the same time fouling is usually subject to seasonal fluctuation. Additionally, the seagrass Zostera marina is prone to microfouling, although this marine spermatophyte is known to be chemically defended against bacterial settlers. Spermatophytes are often capable of induced or activated defences against biological enemies such as pathogens or herbivores, but it is still unknown whether they can fine-tune their antifouling-defence according to settlement pressure. We therefore assessed the seasonality of bacterial settlement pressure, defence against microsettlers and concentrations of a previously identified defence compound, rosmarinic acid, on surfaces of Z. marina. All examined variables peaked in summer, while they tended to be lower in spring and autumn. The seasonality of defence activity and rosmarinic acid surface concentration was positively correlated with the seasonal fluctuation of fouling pressure, which suggests that Z. marina can adjust its defence level to the relatively high bacterial fouling pressure in summer. Besides of biotic factors the seasonal change of environmental factors, such as nitrogen supply, and in particular temperature, also affected the defence level, either directly or through indirect effects on the microbial settlers. View Full-Text
Keywords: rosmarinic acid; fouling; epibiosis; Zostera; chemical defence; seasonal fluctuation; epibiotic bacteria; microfouling rosmarinic acid; fouling; epibiosis; Zostera; chemical defence; seasonal fluctuation; epibiotic bacteria; microfouling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guan, C.; Saha, M.; Weinberger, F. Chemical Defence of a Seagrass against Microfoulers and Its Seasonal Dynamics. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 1258. https://doi.org/10.3390/app9061258

AMA Style

Guan C, Saha M, Weinberger F. Chemical Defence of a Seagrass against Microfoulers and Its Seasonal Dynamics. Applied Sciences. 2019; 9(6):1258. https://doi.org/10.3390/app9061258

Chicago/Turabian Style

Guan, Chi, Mahasweta Saha, and Florian Weinberger. 2019. "Chemical Defence of a Seagrass against Microfoulers and Its Seasonal Dynamics" Applied Sciences 9, no. 6: 1258. https://doi.org/10.3390/app9061258

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